Monthly Archives: May 2016

Memorial Day Weekend #Hosting Special

If you are thinking of getting online, starting a website or blog now is the time to sign up for a great hosting deal with Bluehost!

 

Get a domain name, hosting package with email and one click installs for blogs like WordPress, Weebly for websites, eStores and more.

For the weekend only they are offering deals from just $2.95/month!! Yup just $35 for the year!!!

 

Back up your #WordPress #Blog with UpdraftPlus

This article you are reading is on a WordPress blog.  We all pour hours of time and effort into our creative sides to share articles, promote deals, share our feelings and experiences with others among a plethora of other things.

What if you lost it all?  What if your site got hacked and your content compromised?  It happens every day, it has happened to me and it cost me hours and lost time and revenue as well as some embarrassment that my site got hacked and my public face was compromised.

I very quickly learned that a compromised site can take hours to clean up, code is hidden in your pages, themes and plugins;  it is a complex troubleshooting and clean up process that requires technical know-how.

I realized that I needed a backup solution, a fail safe that should my site ever get attacked, hijacked, deleted or maybe just screwed up by me I could simply restore WordPress and them my data back from a previous time.

I researched many plugins but the reviews all came back to one.  UpdraftPlus.  I started with the free plugin but quickly realized that the more powerful functionality was worth paying for with the Premium version.

UpdraftPlus features

  • Is the highest ranking backup and restore plugin
  • Top 30 rating of ALL WordPress plugins
  • Proven to backup sites of 50GB – only limited by webhost file size restrictions
  • Scheduled backups with email reporting
  • One click and automatic backups before upgrading WordPress and/or plugins
  • Backup to email, to cloud services – Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure , Google Drive, Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, SFTP, FTP and more
  • Encrypted backups including encrypted transport to your cloud storage
  • Everything is backed up and to separate files so you may restore the database, plugins, themes all independently
  • Allows migration from one provider or site to another
  • Imports other common backup files
  • Supports WordPress Multisite and Network installations with ability to restore single sites within the network
  • Central monitoring of distributed sites running UpdraftPlus

I have  had to use the restore functions of UpdraftPlus and have found it to be the most easy to use plugin which has saved downtime and issues with failed plugin installations.

There are several versions:

  • Free – one site
  • Personal $70 – 2 sites
  • Business $95 – 10 sites
  • Developer $145 – unlimited sites

Paid versions give you free support via email and forums for a year, 1Gb of UpdraftPlus Vault storage for cloud backups, free upgrades and access to all of the UpdraftPlus add-ons.

ud-logo-256

Click here for more information on all versions and to purchase premium versions

No better time to get #blogging #WordPress 60% off #deal $2.95/month

Memorial Day weekend plans?
If not, you do now!

From Friday, May 27, through Tuesday, May 31, you can purchase a hosting package including a domain name, email and one click WordPress install for only $2.95/mo for 12 months. That’s over 60% off!

Get yourself online now!  Whether you are a small business or personal blogger you cannot beat this deal on Bluehost for an annual hosting package.

Click here to sign up for these amazing hosting deals, get your WordPress blog up and running in minutes and use the additional package options to get your blog registered with the popular search engines.

Other options include one click installation for some popular web design tools to help you promote your business or yourself!  Check out Weebly for a rapid design and implementation – a website literally in minutes!!

Click here to sign up for 60% off $2.95/month hosting – limited time only!

Your package includes

  • Website hosting

  • Domain Name

  • Email

  • WordPress

  • Online Stores

#LinkedIn Hack – 117 Million Passwords up for sale

health-data-breachLinkedIn was hacked four years ago, and what initially seemed to be a theft of 6.5 million passwords has actually turned out to be a breach of 117 million passwords.

On Wednesday, the professional social network company acknowledged that a massive batch of login credentials is being sold on the black market by hackers.

 The worst part about it is that, because people tend to reuse their passwords, hackers are more likely to gain access to 117 million people’s email and bank accounts.

The advice for everyone who uses LinkedIn at this point is: Change your password and add something called two-factor authentication, which requires a text message every time you sign in from a new computer.

(via CNN Money)

You’re Compromised, in trouble – now what?

What happens with these data leaks?  A huge percentage of people use the same user name and password across many if not all of their accounts.  A hacker or someone who has obtained your information to say your email account can analyze your Inbox, see where you have bank accounts, statements, social media accounts and then plan their further attacks from there.  Maybe they empty your bank accounts, purchase high ticket items from online stores or maybe they plan a more personal attack on you via social media with a means to bribery and extorting money.  Those pictures in your email, messages, social media you thought were safe, they’re now up for grabs, for publishing, for shaming – what now?  Your passwords have been changed by the attacker, you no longer have access to your email or social media accounts you have been frozen out of everything and someone else has control.  This is a daily occurrence and a huge issue we face when we live online.

We trust.  We trust that the services we use are safe.  They are not.  Financial institutions spend millions on data security but still have leaks or hacks – data security is complex and  not all attack vectors can be assessed or tested for.  Other sites have zero spent on security, no updates or little understanding of what is required to sufficiently protect their user base.

So what do we do?

Strong usernames and passwords can prevent guesswork and dictionary attacks on your accounts BUT if the database of usernames and passwords is leaked publicly even the most complex password is not going to save you!  Unique usernames and passwords on all of your difference services will save you some heartache but it requires a mastermind to be able to remember a ton of different and complex passwords!  Using passphrases vs passwords can help but maybe the best tool to help with the security dilemma is a password manager.

Password Managers have been around for a while now.  Today most offer high levels of encryption to keep your personal information safe as well as synchronization of your password data across all of you devices so you can remain secure on all the platforms you use.  Is storing all of your password information all in one place a security issue in itself?  If it is stored locally vs in the cloud then you are pretty safe based on the encryption used and a strong password being required to further secure the data.

Here is a review of the best password managers for 2016 via PC MagazineThe Editors Choice was Dashlane.

Dashlane offers a unique option amongst the password managers available.  Dashlane has the option to change ALL of your passwords with the click of a button.  It will, should you find or suspect you have been compromised, change all of your passwords (on over 500 supported websites/services) using strong passwords – all of which are updated in your password database and all autofill when you access your websites.

Our recommendation

  • Get Dashlane, securely store your information with STRONG encrytion
  • Sync and use your passwords across your devices
  • Maintain and change at anytime long, strong and complex passwords
    (with site auto-login)

Click here to get the FREE version of Dashlane, with an option to upgrade to synced deviced and one touch password changing for $40!

dashlane-password-changer

Surface Dock issues – Display Port Multi Monitor

While the Microsoft Surface Dock may be the go-to device or more premium (read expensive) option for connecting your Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 to your desktop environment, it may not be the most efficient.

There are a number of issues with the Surface Dock that will only become apparent once you attempt to get things all connected and working.

Surface-Pro-Dock-HD-1024x576

  • The Surface Dock does not support dual 4K monitors
  • DisplayPort 1.2 MST and daisy chained monitors are not supported – a monitor must be directly connected to each of the ports on the Surface Dock
  • There are multiple monitors that are not supported or are documented as having issues.
  • The previously released DisplayPort to HDMI adapters for the Surfaces will not work due to the angled plastic shielding on the plug.

Microsoft has a troubleshooting guide for the Surface Dock here

The Surface Dock is a firmware upgradable device, the Surface Dock Update program can be found here and you can run this to attempt to update the dock to better support your monitors or to fix other potential issues.

Here is a list of currently unsupported monitors

Acer XB280HK
AOC G2460PG
Dell U2312HM (FW A05)
U2212HMt
U2412Mb (FW A01)
U2412Mc
U2414Hb (FW A00)
U2515Hc (FW A01)
U2715Hc (FW A00)
U2913Wm (FW A03)

Microsoft also recommends alternative cabling options and the use of Active adapters vs passive.

Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cableCable Matters Gold Plated Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt Port Compatible) to DisplayPort Cable, Black, 6 Feet (101007)

Mini DisplayPort to HDMICable Matters Gold Plated Active Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Male to Female Adapter 4k support

Mini DisplayPort to DVI Male Active Adapter – Cable Matters Active Mini DisplayPort to DVI Male to Female Adapter

If you have no luck getting your monitor configuration working despite all of the support options listed above you could consider using an alernative display dock system utilizing DisplayLink via USB such as thr UD-5900 and UD-3900 by Plugable.  More information on these devices may be found here.  the Plugable devices offer the same functionality as the Surface Dock but connect via the USB 3.0 port vs the Surface blade connector.  Both options have networking and multi monitor support.

 

 

Surface Pro 4 & Surface Book CTRL+ALT+DEL Windows Key + Power in tablet mode

Such an simple issue but no obvious action!  If you are running your Surface Pro 4 or your Surface Book on a domain you need to always CTRL+ALT+DELETE to get to the login screen or to unlock your computer.

Windows 10 boot / lock screen requests you press CTRL+ALT+DELETE or Press and hold the Windows button then press the Power button to sign in or unlock.

Neither the Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 have a WINDOWS BUTTON!!

To get into your Surface you will need to press POWER + VOLUME UP

Maybe Microsoft could customize Windows 10 to cater for their own hardware devices when there is no known hardware button to support the onscreen instructions!

 


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Keeping Safe Online, Passwords, Shopping and browsing

We all know by now that the Internet, while an amazing resource and great time sucker, it is also a place to be weary.  Every day we browse, clicking from site to site, shop, comment, register on new sites and share.  We trust.  We trust that the place we visit are secure and that the servers we talk to are secure or we don’t even think about these things as we don’t understand the technology behind the pages we visit.

The internet provides us with a false sense of security, anonymity, a place to be an armchair warrior for the causes we choose to fight for, a hiding place for angry trolls.  We venture into subjects and places that in the real world we would never dare to go or discuss.  Nobody knows who the person behind the keyboard is….right?

We are uniquely identified, tagged and recorded.  Not just by Big Brother the Government and authorities, but by every place/server we visit.  Servers log IP addresses, those can be geo-located, narrowed down to your general location and provider.  Your PC type, operating system, many things are recorded as you travel around the web.  The majority of people don’t know this – it is complete naivety thinking nothing is logged.

health-data-breach

We browse and continue to use the Internet with a blind trust, that is, until something goes terribly wrong.  Data breaches.  Regular headlines of banks, healthcare providers and online stores reporting hacking incidents and stolen personal information.  Your data is worth money be it for fraud and identify theft or maybe worse bribery and harm to your reputation.  High profile examples of data breaches that caused major embarrassment include the Ashley Madison the hookup site for married people.  This data leak caused major embarrassment to public figures for example, Josh Duggar who was outed as a serial cheater and was eaten alive by the media.  Other people military, government email addresses, clergymen and people in places of public importance and high esteem were found on the leaked and published email lists.

This month alone there have been major dumps of user data published on the web.  Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail and other user account information was leaked.  More embarrassingly a hugely private and sensitive subject matter forum was hackedread here on TheRegister.

Worlds-biggest-data-breaches-Feb-2016

What happens with these data leaks?  A huge percentage of people use the same user name and password across many if not all of their accounts.  A hacker or someone who has obtained your information to say your email account can analyze your Inbox, see where you have bank accounts, statements, social media accounts and then plan their further attacks from there.  Maybe they empty your bank accounts, purchase high ticket items from online stores or maybe they plan a more personal attack on you via social media with a means to bribery and extorting money.  Those pictures in your email, messages, social media you thought were safe, they’re now up for grabs, for publishing, for shaming – what now?  Your passwords have been changed by the attacker, you no longer have access to your email or social media accounts you have been frozen out of everything and someone else has control.  This is a daily occurrence and a huge issue we face when we live online.

We trust.  We trust that the services we use are safe.  They are not.  Financial institutions spend millions on data security but still have leaks or hacks – data security is complex and  not all attack vectors can be assessed or tested for.  Other sites have zero spent on security, no updates or little understanding of what is required to sufficiently protect their user base.

So what do we do?

Strong usernames and passwords can prevent guesswork and dictionary attacks on your accounts BUT if the database of usernames and passwords is leaked publicly even the most complex password is not going to save you!  Unique usernames and passwords on all of your difference services will save you some heartache but it requires a mastermind to be able to remember a ton of different and complex passwords!  Using passphrases vs passwords can help but maybe the best tool to help with the security dilemma is a password manager.

Password Managers have been around for a while now.  Today most offer high levels of encryption to keep your personal information safe as well as synchronization of your password data across all of you devices so you can remain secure on all the platforms you use.  Is storing all of your password information all in one place a security issue in itself?  If it is stored locally vs in the cloud then you are pretty safe based on the encryption used and a strong password being required to further secure the data.

Here is a review of the best password managers for 2016 via PC MagazineThe Editors Choice was Dashlane.

Dashlane offers a unique option amongst the password managers available.  Dashlane has the option to change ALL of your passwords with the click of a button.  It will, should you find or suspect you have been compromised, change all of your passwords (on over 500 supported websites/services) using strong passwords – all of which are updated in your password database and all autofill when you access your websites.

dashlane-password-changer

You can download Dashlane for free here or purchase the annual subscription option that allows you to sync your passwords across all of your devices vs one computer.  More information on Dashlane can be found here.

 

 

 

 

Dashlane Password Manager on steroids!

3-screens-and-a-cloud-and-a-walletWe all have too many passwords, we all use the same passwords across sites.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, multiple email accounts – it is a lot to remember and we can’t keep up with 8+ character alphanumeric plus symbols passwords for every site we register or shop on.

Password managers have been around for a while to alleviate this problem.  A database of all your passwords, encrypted, stored in one place with a secure password to access them all.  These password managers have grown in popularity not only due to the volume of sites and passwords that we all have to remember but also because passwords requirements have become more complex and unfortunately there has been a huge increase in high profile hacks and personal information leaks.

This past week millions of usernames and passwords from Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail and more were hacked and leaked to the web – See Neowin article here.

A traditional password manager would not help in this situation, even if you had setup strong passwords, the leak would have been enough for hackers to get into your account and then further identify what other sites you are connected to and try to compromise those.  This costs people real time and unfortunately money.

Dashlane is a password manager that both stores passwords and can automatically create complex strong passwords for you.  It auto-fills your website login information for you as you visit sites (no more insecure Remember Me).

dashlane-password-changer.PNGThe fundamental difference between Dashlane and many other password managers is this – should you think your account(s) have been compromised you can change your passwords automatically with the click of a button.

 

Dashlane works with over 500 commonly used websites and can change passwords and update your password database in an instant giving you peace of mind that your accounts and personal information remain safe.

Download and use Dashlane for FREE here or purchase the Premium version for $39.99/year

Dashlane also offers the ability to sync your passwords across all of your devices so from your phone to desktop, and any device in between, you have the power to auto-fill your account information and change passwords as needed.

There are two versions of Dashlane, the FREE version which does not offer the password change or sync functionality – but works as a good one device password database.  The premium version of Dashlane offers the sync and password changing functionality for a $40/year subscription.dashlane-free-vs-premium

Download and use Dashlane for FREE here or purchase the Premium version for $39.99/year

Dashlane also acts as your digital wallet.  You can securely store credit card and banking information as well as record transactions for future reference.

dashlane-digital-wallet

Dashlane protects your data using a master password of your choosing and secure AES-256 encryption.  You can further protect your information using two factor authentication.

Get Dashlane for FREE here or purchase the Premium version for $39.99/year

Cheaper $119/$99 alternatives to Microsoft #Surface Dock – Plugable UD-5900/UD-3900

The Surface Dock from Microsoft retails at $199 and can be found at a slight discount here. UPDATE: Plugable now has a new 4k capable, multi-monitor dock available. The UD-5900 comes with HDMI &amp…

Source: Cheaper $119/$99 alternatives to Microsoft #Surface Dock – Plugable UD-3900

 

 

 


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